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How is it going Razzball Nation! Another weekend here and yet another day for your man to guide you through some of the significant happenings around the world in regards to player development. Seems like only yesterday that the basketball season got underway, but damn, we are already fast approaching week 9 and nearing the halfway mark of the fantasy regular season. So how are your teams shaping up? Hopefully you have been paying attention to the great advice given by my esteemed colleagues here at Razzball and you’re riding high and looking down on the competition; but if you’re one of those owners whose team is more injury prone than the Grizzlies and in need of a shake up, then there is plenty of help here to guide you to the next step of looking forward to next season and beyond.

So why are we talking draft classes when it is only December? Well if you have been too busy constructing your ring caliber team (You to can purchase yours from my good buddy Greg at official fantasy rings.com for your leagues) you may have missed the fact that one of the most exciting NBA drafts in years is just over 6 months away, with a super loaded draft class, that is as deep as it is talented.

If you are reading this, then it is likely you are one of those owners who like to be one step ahead of the game in the Dynasty department and with so much talent both domestically and overseas draft eligible for 2017, why not take a little schooner into the next generation of potential NBA stars; after all, this is one draft class with the potential to deliver a number of those.

For those of you that have been awake, then you would have heard the names of Josh Jackson, Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith, Jonathan Isaac, Harry Giles and many a more in discussion as part of the uber-talented freshman class currently adorning the floor of the NCAA, for what looks like a bunch of one-and-done efforts as they move one step closer to the NBA. So let me guide you through a deeper look with my own current personal top 10 college player rankings:

Rank Player Position School
1. Markelle Fultz PG Washington
2. Lonzo Ball PG UCLA
3. Josh Jackson SG/SF Kansas
4. Jonathan Isaac PF Florida State
5. Malik Monk SG Kentucky
6. Dennis Smith PG NC State
7. De’Aaron Fox PG Kentucky
8. Jayson Tatum SF Duke
9. Harry Giles PF Duke
10. Miles Bridges SF Michigan State

The first observation you might make is the top loaded nature of point guards in my rankings, and if you include European players then you can add Frank Ntilikina, of whom I spoke about last week, to that list. Also to put into context the hype of this draft every player listed is also a freshman.

The leader in the rankings:

There is a justifiable case to make any of the top 3 in my list the number 1 ranked draft eligible player (more on Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball at a later date), and in the majority of cases you would see Josh Jackson as the projected number 1 overall pick, but for me Fultz takes home this honor as of today. The Washington freshman is a rare talent that not only has great size for his position, but a great blend of huge offensive upside, quickness and defensive hustle. At 6’5 and such explosiveness at attacking the rim, Fultz is a match-up nightmare for any opponent in the college game especially given the fact that he welcomes contact from length, and has a big league jump shot already that contributes to hurting opponents in a number of ways when scoring the basketball. He is a great ball handler who has good vision and uses the extra attention he draws to bring his team mates into play. Currently averaging 22.8 points, 6.1 assists, 6.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 1.2 blocks and 2.1 treys per game, Fultz has quickly emerged for me as the top freshman in the country among great competition with a do it all skill set that us fantasy owners love. I have no doubt in my mind that this is a player whose name will be on everybody’s lips come fantasy draft day in October next year.

Stock Rising:

Jonathan Isaac is a guy you will find an aggressive ranking from yours truly and a lot of this has to do with the great ball handling skill and shooting ability the FSU prospect has for a man of his size (6-10 at 19 years old).  Through 8 games so far he has demonstrated his excellent shooting ability with a .569 FG% that also includes on average 3.75 treys attempted per game (being successful with 1.62 per game of those), demonstrating that offensive versatility that NBA teams currently crave in the modern day game. He also has good rebounding instincts and plays with an excellent hustle on the defensive end averaging 7.12 rebounds,  1.12 steals and a block a game. When guys approaching 7 foot are averaging a triple 1 (a block, steal and three) with good percentages then it is time for fantasy land to take notice, especially from a guy who won’t hurt you at the line. The one concern at this point is the slight frame, and gaining weight and strength is going to be essential to Isaac to reach his oozing potential at the next level; but I am all in on the Florida native to keep his stock rising and assert himself as a lock for a lottery pick over the upcoming months.

The Reach:

The 6’7 Michigan state forward possesses that high energy explosiveness and confidence that I love in an NBA prospect and although still has plenty of development to go, has the tools and body to make him a high impact player in the NBA. Currently playing his trade at Michigan State, the 18 year old is currently trying to carry a somewhat surprisingly disappointing team so far on his shoulders. His elite level athleticism is plain to see for all that watch him, and with a natural ability to rebound the basketball and time his blocks is a threat at both ends of the basketball court. The big question mark will be what position will the powerful forward play in the NBA. Although very powerful he is still somewhat undersized in length leading many to think he is destined to contribute at the 3 rather than at power forward, especially given his ability to drive the basketball in the lane with confidence. If Miles Bridges can continue to develop his mid range jump shot, and work on increasing his ball security in the dribble, then you have a lottery pick caliber player who could well blossom into an excellent fantasy player on both ends of the floor.

 

Catch you next week Razzball nation for more Dynasty Deep Dive from across the pond.

 

You can find me on Twitter @storytelling41

 

  1. Slim

    Slim says:
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    Geez, look at all those PGs! Yeah it’s looking like Fultz is going to be the best incoming player for fantasy. All those PG stats with 7 boards and over 1 block. Phew. Draftexpress seems to like Dennis Smith more than Ball but Ball has those great assists. Throw in Ntilikina and we may be looking at potentially 5 PGs in the top 10 picks. Last years draft seemed to be all about the big men and this year looks to be the year of the PG, oh and even Jackson is averaging 3.5 assists per game. With that said though goodluck finding a shotblocker in next years draft that will start the year in a teams rotation.

    I’m really impressed by Isaac too. Normally those Jack-of-all-trades are just ok at everything, Isaac looks to me like he could be really good at nearly everything.

    • Craig Bozic

      Craig says:
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      @Slim: very PG heavy indeed, and the class reminds me very much of 2009 but could well be deeper.

      The impressive thing about the top heavy PGs is the do it all nature they posses in the game, especially with ones with elite size (Ntilikina, Ball and Fultz).

      Malik Monk certainly did justice last night to my aggressive ranking of him, and Fox did his stock no harm in last nights Kentucky game against good opposition. Way Monk created his own space to shoot off the dribble was very exciting.

      Gonna be one exciting draft

  2. Niya Allein says:
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    Markelle Fultz takes over, the Huskies needed something to wake them out of a funk that’s been hanging over them like a dark cloud for 3½ weeks and through most of Sunday’s College Men’s Basketball game.

    • Craig Bozic

      Craig says:
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      @Niya Allein: for sure…damn near triple double and a hilight reel dunk to boot. The future is bright for Fultz

  3. PG’s galore and it’s exactly what I need. Currently have Pick #4 so hoping one of Fultz or Ball is there but don’t like my chances if not is it to early to grab Ntilikina there or should I go for best available?

    I’ve also got a pick in the early to mid teens via trade.

    • Craig Bozic

      Craig says:
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      @Bulldogs2016: maybe slightly early but these 5 PGs really are special talents. Fox is another do it all guy, and what he lacks in pure shooting ability at this point more than makes up for with his speed and trickyness getting to the lane. Huge night saturday and looking great again in this game playing now against Louisville (two strong opponents). If it is a PG you need and you have the number 4 pick then its happy days.

      Still only December though, and plenty of time for any of these to emerge as ‘the guy’, but depth at the position isn’t going to be an issue.

      • @Craig:

        Also still plenty of time for me to move around in the draft. Hoping for a higher pick but have some awful teams and I’ve had a tough draw. I may move down a few places.

        • Craig Bozic

          Craig says:
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          @Bulldogs2016: not the worst idea in the world as talent is deep in this draft, for me though I don’t wanna be trading down below 8 at this point.

          • @Craig:

            I meant my ranking currently gives me 4th pick. I fear my team is to good to stay there. Brow and Draymond will win me some games.

            I doubt I’ll climb the rankings much more though I should get pick 3 – 6 and 12 – 16 with my extra first I traded for.

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